Fitch Affirms Brazil's Unibanco -- Uniao de Bancos Brasileiros S.A.
--Foreign currency long-term IDR affirmed at 'BB-', with a Positive Outlook;
--Local currency long-term IDR affirmed at 'BB', with a Positive Outlook;
--Short-term foreign and local currency rating affirmed at 'B';
--Individual rating affirmed at 'C';
--Support rating affirmed at '4';
--Long-term National rating affirmed at 'AA-(bra)', with a Stable Outlook;
--Short-term National rating affirmed at 'F1+(bra)'.
Unibanco is Brazil's third-largest private financial conglomerate, with about 3.7% of domestic sight and savings deposits and 8% of system-wide loans. Ultimate control of Unibanco rests with the Moreira Salles Group (89.8% voting; 18.3% total) through Unibanco Holdings; the remaining shares are publicly traded. Its ratings reflect an improving franchise, strong position in most product areas and sound management team. The bank's foreign currency IDRs are at Brazil's country rating; the local currency long-term IDR higher than the sovereign's reflects consistent performance and balance sheet strength and management capacity to manage turbulent economic cycles. For further details please refer to Fitch's full analytical report, to be released shortly.
Fitch's National ratings provide a relative measure of creditworthiness for rated entities in countries with relatively low international sovereign ratings and where there is demand for such ratings. The best risk within a country is rated 'AAA' and other credits are rated only relative to this risk. National ratings are designed for use mainly by local investors in local markets and are signified by the addition of an identifier for the country concerned, such as 'AAA(bra)' for National ratings in Brazil. Specific letter grades are not therefore internationally comparable.